How many muscles does it take to cough? If you have ever had a sore belly, ribs, neck and shoulders from a cough that won’t go away, you know the answer: A lot, more than you would have guessed. Feeling like you had an intense workout during cold season makes you part of an under recognized group of cough-due-to-cold athletes. Muscle strain from a persistent cough will recover once the coughing ends. In the meantime, the sore muscles can be treated like any muscle injury. Cold packs, rest and some gentle massage can help the muscles recover quickly and fully. Every bit of self care helps during cold season!